Today’s consumer is no longer satisfied with the static and boring visual of yesteryear’s posters and billboards. They demand something dynamic. They expect to be entertained. The use of today’s modern UHD 4K TV screens allows retail stores to create stunning visual effects with rich content that tells a story, describes the brand, or draws attention to the latest sales.
Competing for attention has only become more challenging in recent years. Research indicates that businesses have as little as 10 seconds to engage a customer and motivate them to action. That’s why it’s so important that your commercial video display is reliably delivering high-value, high-impact messaging. The moment a customer walks through your door, their eyes need to be quickly drawn to your video display installation. In those few precious seconds that you have their attention, it’s critical to convey your message. When executed properly, foot traffic can translate directly into sales.
A common mistake that store owners make when purchasing a 4K UHD TV is that they assume it will be the same as the 4K TV they purchased for their own home. While it’s true there are some features shared between consumer and commercial 4K displays, there are far more differences. Being unaware of these differences can lead to problems and expenses down the road.
For example, is your home 4K TV able to be controlled over Ethernet or RS232? Likely not, but a 4K commercial display could be. To help you understand some of the commercial capabilities, ask yourself these questions:
For most of us, the answers to these questions are “no.” Consumer grade 4K displays are not designed for commercial applications. Only 4K commercial displays are designed with these features to meet the needs of a commercial environment. But the questions above might not apply to the needs of every situation. Let’s take a more detailed look at some of the most important features of 4K displays and how they differ between commercial and consumer.
No single feature of a commercial display screen sets it apart from a consumer screen more than the quality of the display. The product design and components of these displays are of higher quality than what’s in a consumer display, and this is because commercial display screens are designed to be on 24/7, as opposed to the typical consumer screen which is only intended to be used for 6-8 hours a day. Not only are commercial screens designed to run more hours a day, but the higher quality design and components ensure that the screen lasts far longer than a consumer screen.
All this talk of higher quality designs and components would be meaningless if manufacturers weren’t willing to back it up. The proof that there’s a real difference between consumer grade and commercial grade TVs clearly comes through in the warranty. Manufacturers offer standard multi-year warranties on their commercial displays, while consumer grade TVs can carry as little as a 90-day warranty. In fact, it’s common for manufacturers to stipulate in the warranties of their consumer grade TVs that the warranty is void if used in a commercial application, as consumer grade TVs simply aren’t designed to hold up to the demands of a retail setting.
Furthermore, a warranty is only useful if you can make a claim to get the TV replaced, repaired, or reimbursed. As a sole consumer, your power to influence a company, should they decide to deny your claim, is quite limited. You could try to work with the store you purchased the TV from, but they may not offer much assistance. You simply don’t represent a large enough portion of their business.
For a commercial grade TV, however, you would typically be purchasing through a commercial A/V integrator like Promotion Technology Group (PTG), and there are two main advantages. First, we have qualified staff that can provide a higher level of personal AV service than that of a consumer retail store. Second, we maintain closer relationships with TV manufacturers because we purchase at higher volumes and can work with the manufacturer on your behalf, should your retail store encounter an issue.
Consumer displays are intended to look aesthetically appealing on their own, meaning they have bulkier frames with rounder, gentler edges. This looks great when mounted on a wall at home, but in a commercial setting when you’re setting up a digital advertising display screen, this additional bulk and design is not ideal.
Instead, it’s more advantageous to have an edgeless screen so there is no distraction from your message. The clean design of a digital advertising display also lends itself to being built into a custom frame or housing to further enhance the appearance of the screen and blend it into your overall messaging. Even if not mounted in a custom frame, the clean design of a commercial display is a timeless look that prevents your store from looking dated.
Since we know your window of time to engage the consumer is small, it’s important to remove any barrier that would prevent them from quickly absorbing a message. To this point, the brightness of the display is key to success. Commercial displays should not be washed out by bright overhead lighting or the sun. When screens are washed out, it’s nearly impossible for shoppers to see the content intended for them.
The brightness of a TV is measured in candelas per square meter (cd/m2), also known as nits. A typical TV designed for a home is intended to be watched mostly at night or in low light settings. In this environment, 150-250 nits are more than enough, and most consumer displays come in this range.
For a commercial application, however, where there may be an abundance of light to wash out a screen, far brighter displays are required. Commercial displays are offered in ranges starting at 300 nits, for indoor applications, all the way up to 2,000 nits, for outdoor, full sunlight applications.
The last key difference between a consumer display and a commercial display is that one is considered a TV and the other is considered a monitor.
The 4K UHD TV in your home likely has built-in speakers, a tuner to decode over-the-air or cable television channels, and often includes applications like Netflix or Hulu. These features add cost, but in a commercial environment they don’t add any value. The purpose of a commercial display is to display content which you’re providing from a dedicated video source. If you want to tie in audio, it needs to be done through a dedicated set of amplifiers and speakers – not from speakers in the display. That is why, in a commercial application you really want a 4K UHD monitor. The monitor is essentially a 4K TV with all the residential features removed and new commercially-focused features added, such as scheduling the screen to be on during business hours, rotating the screen into portrait mode, and a video loop-out to mirror content onto other screens.
With all the possibilities of a 4K commercial display, it can be challenging to know where to begin. To unlock the true potential, you need someone to help you understand how displays work and how to create an integrated system to meet the goals of your retail store.
In business for more than 30 years, PTG has the experience in the cutting edge field of commercial displays to bring digital to life for your retail environment.
Ready to find the best hardware and software solutions to fit your needs? We’ll work with you to sort out all the details and help with installation, training, maintenance, and upgrades. When you’re ready to join the retail digital revolution, we’re here to help.